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Posted by ADDmirer on August 22, 2000 at 17:23:14:

In Reply to: Spouse of someone Dx with AADD posted by Sunrising on August 21, 2000 at 06:22:10:

: I am requesting any information anyone can give me regarding support for people who live with someone who is dx with Adult Attention Deficiet Disorder.

: My husband has AADD. It is hurting our marraige. I would like to be more supportive but I need support and understanding myself. I find myself experiencing plenty of fustration, anger and resentment.

: It would be a Godsend to read about or speak to others that have successful relationships under these circumstances. All I have read to date have been stories of ex-partners who now empathize and understand. I have no desire to become an ex-partner. I love my husband dearly. I desire ideas, guidance, direction, and inspirational successful stories of how people can make it together.

Unfortunately, I cannot offer a ton of advice as I am at the early part of the learning stages myself. I recently started dating a man who was a close friend for two years, and literally, the week before we started dating, he was diagnosed with ADD. To use his words he is "off the chart" in terms of his symptoms. He struggles with all the long term effects - negativity, low self esteem, anger, forgetfulness, etc. He has thoughts of suicide and extreme violence (which so far, he only takes out on inanimate objects)... and I want to marry him. Even starting out our relationship with the knowledge of his condition, even starting out with him (and me too in fact) in counseling, even starting out with the whole "trying to find the right medication and finding that they are not really working" is not enough. I feel your pain - I want to know how to help in practical, concrete ways but find that there is no clear way to do that. I am frustrated that the psychologist seems to be more focused on the medication than really working with him to change his patterns of behavior. I crave some kind of a workshop, or training program that we could both go to and figure out together how to allow this wonderful man to escape the prison of the years of living with ADD and realize his full potential.

The best I have come up with so far is to order a bunch of books. I just went to Amazon and ordered a bunch of things that sounded interesting, specifically focusing on books for adult ADD and those that looked like they gave practical advice. I read "Driven to distraction" right at the beginning and that was a really helpful starting point.

I also crave the ability to talk to other partners/wives who have learned the best way to respond when he gets frustrated, negative, distracted, etc. I want to be his lover and wife, not his mother, counselor, maid... how do I support him without becoming the "fix it" girl? These are all questions in my mind to which I do not have answers. However I am hopeful and determined. I have decided to inform myself first. Each little piece of information that helps me understand how he sees and processes the world helps me to understand him. I am determined to challenge the psychologist to get more involved in helping him change his behavior. I will also realize that this is not going to change overnight.

One of the things that has recently helped me is to stop looking at the negatives, but instead to see and encourage him in the positives - his perseverance in tasks that I know are driving him nuts - his humor - his energy - his honesty. The thing that is most important for him is that I love him and accept him, even as we move through changes. His biggest fear is that if anyone really knew the person he is inside, they would not love him. His image of himself will never change until someone does know him and accept him and love him anyway.

Don't know if any of this is of help. I know it was a relief to me to write it down and know that the person at the other end might relate. Amazing that 2-4% of adults have ADD and yet it is so hard to connect with other people. Guess I haven't tried hard enough.

You will be in my prayers and I hope you and your husband are able to work through everything and see positive changes in your marriage now you know the part that ADD has played.

Take care

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